Bullying in this Day and Age


Image from The Bark United States in the article “The History of Cyberbullying.”

Zoe Marquez, Editor

Bullying has been a large issue for centuries, with in-in school bullying being recorded even since the 18th century. While it has been made a prevailing problem, the use of technology and social media has created a new sub-topic on the problem: cyberbullying. 

Cyberbullying is defined as the use of technology and or an electronic device used to bully a person according to the Oxford Dictionary. With the rise of both technological and electronic advances, and while there are many benefits coming from this, there has also been a rise of cyberbullying. In an article by the Security Organization, it is stated that in 2020, 44 percent of all internet users in the United States had experienced and or were experiencing cyberbullying. This percentage went up in contrast to other years following the pandemic, a time with more online presence. 

Furthermore, there have been cases in which technology is not directly associated with bullying itself. With the use of smartphones, there has seemed to be a growing conformity amongst people witnessing a fight. In psychology, conformity is a term that refers to the change in thoughts, actions or feelings when under the pressure of a group of people. In relation to bullying and electronics, this can be seen in many cases when instead of helping stop the fight, people pull out their smartphones and begin to record. 

This was seen in the tragic story of Norma Lizbeth, a 14-year-old Mexican girl that passed away due to cranio-cerebral trauma after being taunted and hit during a confrontation with another student. Lizbeth succumbed to her injuries on March 13, 2023, only 20 days after being hospitalized due to the incident. The video of what caused her death has gone viral on many social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. Many people who have either seen or heard of the video seem to question why the students recording the fight did not intervene, as this could have prevented her passing. 

Through the rise of electronic use, it has been seen that bullying has changed and evolved into something that has become easier for people to do. While online harassment has become illegal following the deaths of many due to this and or attempts, many people do not speak out when it is either occurring to them or people they know. In order to help prevent the tragedies due to bullying, organizations like StopBullying urge people to speak out against harassment to them or people around them and provide resources to help with the situations. Furthermore, lifelines such as the National Suicide Hotline, 988 on dial or text, are available at all times.